Sunday, September 22, 2013

Equinox Collides

For the past couple weeks the Bubbles have been studying the solar system in science.  We assembled and painted plastic models (for some reason I don't have a picture?) from kits I got on Amazon.  It just so happened that this week we arrived in the New Kingdom of Egypt in history.  In the 15th century BCE, the sundial was invented.  So.... we made a sundial.

We followed these directions, from Ancient Science (Weise, Jim; Jossey-Bass, 2003)

And luck would have it such that the Equinox this weekend enabled us to properly "set" it!  I'm impressed with how well it works and just wish it wasn't made of cardboard!  We have plans for making one from clay -- I will report back!

 It's 5:00 somewhere... oh, here!  Time for a beer!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Manzanita Dreams

Every day while I ever so patiently (not) watch my garden grow, I look across the hillsides at all the gorgeous manzanita bushes.  Their tiny pink blossoms thumbing their noses at the snow and mid 20s temps.  And I can't help but think: if life gives you lemons, you make lemoncello...  So...

I'm thinking about a fermented version of this cider

...wondering if this jelly can be made with less sugar.

...reading all sorts of wild food articles on manzanitas....

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Conquering fears and missing ears

The other day the Bubbles and I headed down the eastside of our property, toward the "meadow", and the little seasonal creek (basically a stream).

When we got down to the "the bottom" I found out that this was in fact where Gregorie had "fallen in".

The girls threw some snow in the water and we hiked downstream toward the convergence with the other creek.   Gregorie begged the camera and did her best imitation of Ansel Adams.  Alex found an ear of dried corn and we made wishes as we threw kernels in the stream.

Alex and I finally cast the cob in, making several wishes on the "wish stick" before sending it downstream.  We were following behind it, making sure it didn't get caught in sticker brushes while Gregorie ran ahead.  UNTIL she shrieked.  The most blood curdling scream!  She had come upon....

...a dead deer. 

[to be continued]

Monday, February 4, 2013

Dirty Fingers (or is the whole world just crooked)

As Alex was headed to bed last night, she asked, "Mom, what is that word for the bones of the fingers?"

"Phalanges," I replied.

"Ya, 'plalanges'...." she mused.  "You know that word, phalanges, and the word 'heinous', you know the one that means really awful, well, 'phalanges' and 'heinous', they sound like potty words."

Uh, ya.  They do.  I find it very interesting that 1) she is right on the money and 2) we don't use the expression "potty words".  I am a big believer that no words are off limits for my children.  I tell them, "You can use any word IF you can wield the power of that word.  Words cannot be used to hurt or belittle but they can be used to express your frustration, your observations."

While I was pondering her current observation, I looked up and noticed that some of the framed photos over the bed were not straight.  "Gregorie is crooked," I remarked.

"My sister is NOT crooked!  Why would you call her a crook????"

"No, not GREGORIE Gregorie, that photo of Gregorie.  Now that I look more closely, most of the photos are crooked."  Alex promptly jumped up and set out to setting straight.  She lined them all up; she made their edges all parallel.  But standing back, I could tell they were all now "crooked" to the line of the ceiling or wall.  I left them that way.  We should live life at slant once in a while.

Lessons learned (and yet to learn)

Today the Bubbles and I headed back down to the creek after we finished our schooling for the day.  We all started out by lacing up some waterproof boots.  Check!

And she was no sooner laced, then Gregorie was off.  Alex eyed the muddy slope, picking her path carefully.  Ya, me, I picked my path VERY carefully.  Stepping frequently on the exposed areas of sleeping sage bushes, knowing they would hold me.


 Down, down she ran.
 With Alex not far behind.
 They waited for me and we headed upstream.

 With the dogs running along.
 Criss-crossing our way.
 With me still falling in to my knees!

 And then Alex saw something shiny in the water.  And had to head down to get it.
 Had to reach her arm into the icy water...

 To bring back her prize.  Um hum.  Now she has an icy cold arm.  Which eventually sent her running up the hillside and into a warm bath with rosemary and eucalyptus Daddy Bubble ran for her.
 She lasted long enough to check out some freshly budding shrubs.
 And while the light today was nothing special we did manage to capture some beauty.

 Before trodding back downstream.  Before Gregorie found out that parts of the stream are deeper than her boots are tall....